The Gits: Snapshot Of A 'Whirlwind' Ascent

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Whirlwind"
  • Artist: The Gits
  • CD: The Best of The Gits
  • Genre: Rock
The Gits 300

"Whirlwind" demonstrates that The Gits might have blossomed into one of Seattle's great rock bands. Jackie Ransier hide caption

itoggle caption Jackie Ransier

It would be a stretch to suggest that The Gits' music made it one of the great bands, sung or unsung, of the early-'90s Seattle rock explosion. It might even be a stretch to say that the group — which recently served as the subject of a documentary — could have matured into greatness. Sadly, though, it never got the chance, cut down during its brief ascent by the 1993 murder of singer Mia Zapata.

But if The Gits' members were pushing toward bigger and better things, "Whirlwind" would have surely helped pave the way. The song opens with a lockstep rhythm over which guitarist Andrew Kessler pops out a simple riff, which in turn keeps its focus on the horizon even as the chords shift and grow more complicated.

It's when "Whirlwind" hits the pre-chorus that the rhythm begins to unravel, as Steve Moriarty's drums temporarily unmoor themselves from the beat and lie in wait for Zapata to lead her men into the searing chorus. Far from dissipating the tension, that move multiplies it, so that what could have been an unfettered blast instead ripples with possibility. Zapata and her bandmates were just learning to harness their power, and it's one of many tragedies surrounding The Gits that they never got the opportunity to find out where it would have taken them.

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